In this week’s Meet the Maker, Pedddle had the chance to chat to some of our stallholders who make self care and wellbeing products; Raina Atelier & Hedonist Self Care. In the run-up to Christmas, products to uplift your mood, de-stress and help you unwind are always popular gifts.
Raina Atelier creates luxury accessories and gifts with self-care and wellbeing in mind, which are hand-printed with original designs using original hand carved linocut blocks. Hedonist Self Care offers fragranced candles, room sprays, and vegan hand and body washes, all to help relax and unwind. Read our Meet the Maker Q&A below to hear from the makers and find out more about their businesses!
Pedddle: Tell us a little bit about your business and how it all started!
Raina Atelier: I studied painting at the School of Applied Arts and Design and then enrolled onto a graphic art course at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, Croatia, specializing in graphic printmaking. When I moved to London, I received training in bespoke tailoring and gained a wealth of knowledge about fabrics, pattern making, designing and producing collections and the fashion industry in general. The vibrancy of London, art and fashion education and experience encouraged me to start my own brand combining my art, craft and fashion interests.
I started my brand “Raina” in 2003 and sold my products at many London’s Art and Craft Fairs and indoor markets, but then changed direction and ran a family bespoke tailoring and high fashion business in London for many years. After the first lockdown in 2020, I went to Stuttgart in Germany to visit my family and while stuck there in consecutive lockdowns and not being able to travel back to the UK, my brand sprung back to life. I opened my Etsy store and sold my products to a few shops in Germany. I finally returned back to London, where I am continuing with my small business in the UK. It is important to me that products are produced locally, as ethically and as environmentally friendly as possible.
Hedonist Self Care: Hedonist is a self care brand, born out of the pursuit of pleasure. We create self care products to help our customers relax, unwind and make time for themselves. After working in the beauty industry for over five years, I had seen a lot of negativity and toxic trends that made me uncomfortable, so I created Hedonist as a person-centric, safe space where everyone is welcome. We have a range of luxury hand poured vegan scented candles that will fill your home with a gorgeous aroma.
Utopia Candle and Melatonin Room Spray Eden Candle, Room Spray, Hand & Body Wash
Pedddle: Following on from that, what’s most important to you when creating your products?
Hedonist Self Care: I started creating candles as I have always been fascinated by scent and the power it has to evoke memories and how it can have a positive impact on wellbeing. I use vegan coconut and soy wax to create the candles and glass amber jars that can be reused.
We have room sprays to compliment our scented candles that will instantly add a calming scent to your home. We have also just introduced hand and body washes to match some of our bestselling scents. Our vegan skincare products were designed to treat the skin whilst also creating a sensual experience. All of our skin care products are clean, natural and vegan meaning no preservatives or harsh chemicals just skin loving ingredients.
Raina Atelier: Turning back to my graphic art and graphic printmaking roots and combining this with knowledge of tailoring and sewing, I created Raina Atelier handmade luxury accessories featuring hand printed original designs and fabric patterns inspired by the beauty of our natural world. Drawing the motifs from nature then transferring the drawings onto Lino block, I carve the motifs by hand and block print with eco friendly inks onto natural 100% cotton fabrics. From these block printed fabrics, I then design and sew my products.
Born out of the lockdowns and the difficulties that Covid-19 pandemic posed onto the world and everyone’s mental health my idea was to create products with wellbeing and self care in mind and with the hope that they will stimulate one’s spiritual life through art and textiles, I also created gift boxes: “Spa Relaxation Sets” and “Meditation Gift Sets”. Having grown up in Croatia, where a tradition of herbal remedies has been cultivated for centuries, the Gift boxes reflect this through the use of organic lavender, chamomile, hibiscus flowers and other organic herbs.
The Spa Relaxation Sets are filled with a hand painted eye mask infused with soothing lavender to help relax or drift off to cozy night sleep – there is also a matching lavender sachet and reusable eco friendly cosmetic pads and soap bag as well as the hand printed card printed on recycled paper. The Meditation Gift Sets are filled with a hand painted meditation eye pillow, matching lavender sachet, meditation journal and handmade relaxing “Namastee “ tea made of organic loose Mediterranean mixed dried flowers: Lavender flowers to calm the mind; chamomile flowers to reduce anxiety, help relax and help aid sleep and hibiscus flowers, which are rich in powerful antioxidants.
The Lavender Spa Relaxation Gift Box The Meditation Gift Box
Pedddle: What do you enjoy most about attending markets?
Raina Atelier: I love the in person experience of interacting with customers while selling on the markets. I love meeting new people and I love the community spirit between the market traders. Since the markets opened up again, I’ve sold at Urban Makers Designer Maker Wednesdays at Old Spitalfields Market in London.
Hedonist Self Care: We love attending markets, as it gives us an opportunity to connect with out customers and meet new customers and makers alike. They allow us to spread the message of our brand and talk about our products to new groups of people.
The Hedonist Self Care at Market The Hedonist’s Vogue featured products
Pedddle: Why should we encourage shopping small today?
Hedonist Self Care: It is super beneficial to shop small as your money is going directly to the maker and it allows us to continue with our passion.
Raina Atelier: By shopping small we make a conscious choice of nurturing and supporting entrepreneurship and giving a chance to new emerging designers and makers, as well as shopping locally and ensuring that the products don’t have to travel long distances.
Velvet Makeup Bag with Silver Stars Cinnamon Infused Christmas Baubles
Pedddle: Were there any new skills you learned during the pandemic that have been useful since restrictions lifted?
Raina Atelier: I’ve had to adapt to online selling rather than in person during the lockdowns. In November 2020, I opened my Etsy store for the EU market and later on I opened Folksy store for the home market in the UK.
I chose these platforms to show and sell my products so that I can familiarize myself and gain some knowledge of online selling, product promotion, SEO, alt tags for products images, etc.
Hedonist Self Care: We started our business during the pandemic, so online selling was all we knew, but when we were able to interact with customers face to face it was really refreshing and motivating.
Serotonin Candle and Room Spray Hedonist A/W Candle Collection
Pedddle: We’re heading into the busiest time of year! What’s next in store for you?
Hedonist Self Care: We have lots of pop ups planned for the rest of the year including a week at John Lewis. Next year we will develop new products to help our customers relax, unwind and take a moment for themselves.
Raina Atelier: I have several markets booked for this year that I’m really looking forward to, both in-person and online, including the Modern Maker’s Online Market, the Christmas Handmade Market on Tresstle, Urban Makers Christmas Market in East London.